Written by Jonathon Hembree, Correspondent
While students are sitting in class on Monday, Oct. 24, the Blazer golf team will be in sunny Puerto Rico playing in the UIS Island Getaway Tournament.
Valdosta State finished sixth overall out of 11 teams at the UIS Island Getaway Tournament last year around the same time. This year Coach Richard Purvis is aiming to win.
“It’s always our goal to win,” Purvis said. “However, if that doesn’t happen, we always strive to play hard till the end and have a good showing.”
While Puerto Rico is the farthest the team has traveled this year, Coach Purvis expects the travel to have little effect on the team.
“It shouldn’t have much of an impact as long as flights are on time,” he said. “We will leave on Saturday morning and arrive on Saturday afternoon. Basically, same travel schedule as normal expect we are on a plane this time and not a van.”
Purvis said he doesn’t expect the Puerto Rican course and tourist attractions to have a large effect on the Blazers’ game.
“They have the same type grasses as us,” he said. “It’s going to be hot and humid. No different than Titletown, USA.”
Earlier this year, the golf team finished second overall out of 18 teams in the Kiawah Island Invitational and fifth overall of 16 in the Cougar Invitational in Columbus, Georgia.
At the end of the Cougar Invitational’s first day, VSU sat at ninth overall. They then jumped up to fifth on day two, passing the Columbus Cougars, and trailing Florida Tech with a total score of 863.
Another bright spot for the team has been freshman Jordan Long, who was named Gulf South Conference Freshman of the Month for golf in September. Long has averaged a score of 73.5 for the two tournaments this year. The team will look to him in Puerto Rico for some good rounds.
The team flies out to Rio Mar, Puerto Rico, Saturday morning to compete alongside Saint Leo, Delta State and various schools that VSU normally competes against. Purvis said he believes this experience could benefit the team greatly.
“We are going down there with the same mind set of trying to play solid golf and minimize and mistakes made,” he said.